Mobile app development should always start with a Discovery phase. This phase helps in defining business goals, marketing objectives, targeting user bases, feature lists and, most importantly, the overall viability of the app from a business perspective… Along with business objectives, one of the biggest advantages of the Discovery phase is clarity on app design and development needs and the overall cost. The result of the Discovery phase helps to ensure that a Mobile App is developed the right way the first time.
B- What Is The Discovery Phase?
The Discovery phase is all about coming up with an effective blueprint that tells the whole story about your project. Proper Discovery reduces the risk of developing an improper solution or overspending unnecessarily.
Discovery helps paint the picture of what you want from the start, in terms of new users and business objectives. Furthermore planning potential visual designs will better define what the mobile/web app will look like. Discovery defines functional pre requisites needed based on what the app needs to do and information architecture needed to do it. Ideally, a discovery phase should always include an App schedule which takes note of the overall cost estimates and all major milestones.
It is during this Discovery stage that you will work with your team to establish a deep understanding of what all expectations are with the App. You can easily outline what you want to achieve including:
- Major Deliverables – Reports and applications, both web and mobile
- Your expectations in terms of daily visitors or monthly revenue
- Your unique selling proposition
- Your monetization strategy
B1- Steps Of The Discovery Phase
- a. Concept Analysis – Understand the overall idea and confirm it’s business and technical feasibility.
- b. Market Analysis – Study and define key target markets and audiences.
- c. Gathering Requirement – Discuss the project’s vision, features and their priorities./li>
- d. Wireframing – A simple visual layout of the project sections. Support the specs by defining certain layouts and user experiences.
- e. UI Prototype – Helps visualize the final product through graphic designs deployed on mock up tools that allow users to flow through the App.
- f. Development Tools and Technology – Define the technology needs and technical architecture for the App.
C- Benefits of Discovery Phase
Let’s discuss why the Discovery phase is essential for Mobile App Development:
1- Understand Market and Targeted Users
The first important goal of the Discovery phase is to understand the market for the app and get to know your users closely. This helps in determining how and why users would access your website and Mobile App and what measures you can take to make it easy for them.
2- Study Competition and Devise Strategy To Beat Them
Competition studies analyze the competitive landscape in your market. They help understand where your idea would gather traction based on what your competitors are or are not doing with their apps. Studying the competitors can also help to identify how your app should be marketed or who it should be marketed to.
3- Define and Prioritise Features
In the beginning, you are often flooded with endless feature ideas and concepts. This phase helps you to determine which features are truly the most important and should be included in the MVP. The rest can be cataloged for future development.
4- Create Development Timeline and Budget
This phase helps you in defining requirements in greater detail through wireframing. The details help your development team to set proper expectations on development time and cost so you can budget accordingly. For example, you can plan the press release date well in advance. You can also understand the various architecture, deployment infrastructure and maintenance costs for your app.
5- Create Early Designs For All Screens and Features
Get your designs done early using mock up tools. You can have your design team provide screen by screen designs with a tool like InVision. This will help you show some real examples to your investors and be more clear on how your Mobile App will look and function.
D- Discovery Phase Deliverables
- Business objective and target market
- Complete feature set and MVP
- Document for user stories, non-functional requirements and workflows
- Technical Architecture
The Discovery phase helps in understanding and defining business and technical requirements as well as provide a risk-free approach towards Mobile App Development. It helps to bring predictability to costs and timelines, which fosters better business planning and communication. Also, delivering designs early helps start-ups to provide their investors with a prototype even before starting the actual development.
So, if you are planning to get a Mobile App developed, I wish you all the best and hope that you gear up with the Discovery Phase and avoid any potential missteps, and enjoy a successful launch.
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References: polestarllp, sanmita, seguetech, arrkgroup, wsol, daymuse, enolalabs, optimusinfo